UTV stands for utility task vehicle, a type of off-road vehicle often known as a side-by-side — but neither name describes it well without further explanation. You might mistake a UTV for an ATV (all-terrain vehicle), but there are key differences: The UTV allows occupants to sit side by side (aha!) and typically is operated more like a car, with a steering wheel and pedals.
Related: What Does 4×4 Mean?
Conversely, an ATV is more like a motorcycle in that the operator straddles it and steers using the handlebars. It has three or four wheels and might allow a passenger to ride behind the operator, but if two or more people want to ride in relative comfort, a UTV is the better approach. Capable of carrying heavier loads, UTVs range from truly utilitarian vehicles not far removed from golf carts to highly engineered recreational 4x4s, sometimes abbreviated RUVs (recreational utility vehicles) or ROVs (recreational off-highway vehicle).